Careers

How to answer the interview question, ‘What motivates you?’

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Sometimes honesty is the best policy. That's what career experts say about the interview question, "What motivates you?" As part of Glassdoor's 50 Most Common Interview Questions series, the site spoke with career experts about how to stand out while responding truthfully.

Aurora Meneghello of Repurpose Your Purpose tells Glassdoor that the best response to this question is the honest one.

"This is one of those answers to [respond to] authentically so you can screen out teams and positions which would not be good for you," she says.

However, Nicole Wood, CEO and co-founder of career coaching firm Ama La Vida tells Glassdoor that it is possible to provide an answer that's at once sincere and presents you in a flattering light. She suggests mentioning something specific about the company or role that would motivate you.

Interviewers should emphasize "the motivations that are most linked to that role or industry," she says. "For example, if you are going to work for a startup, you might speak to being motivated and excited by innovation and a rapid pace of change."

Alternatively, you could answer this question by saying, "Working as a part of a team motivates me to do my best work, that is why I am so excited to hear that this company has a culture of collaboration."

By being honest and connecting the dots between what motivates you and the job you are applying for, you can tell the truth and make yourself stand out.

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